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Category: weekly pour

Bubbles 101 – Prepping for New Year’s Eve

5 minute read A Bubbles Primer It is almost New Year’s Eve, the evening we drink an estimated 360 million glasses of Champagne and sparkling wine in the USA. That is a lot of bubbles. Notice that I said Champagne and sparkling wine. Are they not the same thing? Well, it’s complicated. First, all Champagne is sparkling wine, but most sparkling wines are NOT Champagne. Stay tuned, I will explain below. Second, all Champagnes and sparkling wines have additional carbon dioxide dissolved into the wine that creates the bubbles once you open the bottle. After that, is when it gets…

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Smith-Madrone 2015 Chardonnay

Chardonnay is the most popular wine in the USA based on sales volume. That said, I was very, very slow to the starting gate because I “thought” I did not “like” white wine. I have told the story before when several years ago, I was graciously “slapped around” by a winemaker in France who clarified that I had just not found the style of white wine I preferred.  I was so used to only trying the wines that my husband and sister liked that I had never really given most white varieties a chance. Thankfully, I took the information to heart and…

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Bottle Shock: Let it Rest

It’s Alive Yep, wine is as “alive” as any other agricultural product and can be affected by temperature fluctuations, movement, oxygen and many other factors. Think about it, wine changes as it ages so why not because it got jostled around on a ship as it crossed the pond from France or even after a week in a UPS truck from California to Charleston. There have been several times when we have purchased a new vintage of a wine that we have traditionally really liked. We pop the cork on that first bottle and think, “WHOA! what happened to this vintage?”…

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Sanity Restored: Robocallers & Telemarketers

Yes, I have a landline. There are several important reasons why but the details are not important to this post. If you have a landline and you work from home, you know that your phone rings all the time with robocallers, scammers, and telemarketers even though we are on the Do Not Call List. Then there is my cell phone that also rings all day with scammers and telemarketers. As a small business, my cell phone is my business line, and so it is published on my website and Google for business reasons. Therefore anyone can call, and they do. It…

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Wine Round Up: Winter

The other night at a dinner party a dear friend thanked me for turning him onto dry rosé wines. He said, At first, he only bought the brand that I shared with him but has since branched out and is trying and finding a slew of new rosé wines he loves.  Additionally, the other day in a conversation with another friend she told me a similar story but then added that since she has started to go to the Strong Coffee to Red Wine wine tastings, she has learned that her wine palate is much broader than she ever imagined. As…

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One Year: Wow, It Flew By

Oh. My. God. Where did the time go? One year and a month ago, I started Strong Coffee to Red Wine. I can’t believe that the anniversary passed already and I did not notice. I guess that is because my nose is to the grindstone. But alas, it dawned on me today as I was reflecting on some of the comments I have recently received regarding recent posts… Ginger was thrilled to have found all of the Cariñena wines at her local Trader Joe’s and is having her own tasting party on Super Bowl Sunday while “the boys” watch the game.   Last…

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Cariñena: Tasting Value Wines, Pt 2

In my last post, I introduced you to the affordable wines of Cariñena D.O.P in northwest Spain. If you missed it, you might want to go back and glance at it now.  I was so impressed by these wines that I have been scouring the area wine shops for these super-value wines.  Having found five wines at Trader Joe’s, I hosted an impromptu wine tasting with some friends and neighbors to help me evaluate these finds. Part Two: Finding Cariñena All of the wines are red. Four were blends, and one was a Tempranillo. Unfortunately, none were strictly Garnacha, but…

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Live Blogging at WBC17

Drink, Drank, Dump One of the favorite events to happen at the Wine Blogger Conference is something called Live Blogging. I called it Wine Speed Dating. It is an hour long fast-paced event where ten winemakers present and pour one wine from their portfolio. They have 5 minutes to talk it, pour it and answer questions. While we taste, take a picture of the bottle, comment, ask questions and then blog about it. If it sounds crazy, it is. There were two of these sessions one day apart. The first was for white and rosé wines, and the latter was for red wines.…

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Drink: Best White Ever and A Great Pinot Noir

November has been a wine extravaganza. I would like to say it is by variety not by volume, but I would imagine that would be stretching reality.  Between the wine conference, the holiday and general consumption, I have had the opportunity to enjoy, drink, taste and toss a gaggle or three of wine. This month I drank the most amazing white wine I have ever consumed. Because of the conference and subsequent touring, I also tasted the most expensive wines I have ever consumed, sampled so many great Sonoma Pinot Noir bottles that the shipments are still coming in and the coolers are overflowing. One…

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Hanna Winery & Vineyards

I had been looking forward to this day for months. I got to mingle with other bloggers, taste great wines and learn, learn, learn. This is Wine Bloggers Conference 2017, day one. This day was jam-packed starting with a tour and gourmet luncheon with pairings at Hanna Winery & Vineyards followed by a Zinfandel tasting, a Pinot Noir tasting and then the opening reception with tasting tables called, “Wines of the World.” Whew! If it sounds like a lot, it was. I was overwhelmed. The highlight of this day was Hanna Winery and Vineyards, so let’s go! Hanna Winery & Vineyards We…

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